Changes in refractive errors in albinism: a longitudinal study over the first decade of life

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Purpose: To analyze longitudinal changes in refraction in patients with albinism. Methods: The medical records of 481 patients were reviewed retrospectively to identify patients who had cycloplegic refractions at three ages: visit A, 0-18 months old; visit B, 4-6 years old; visit C, 8-10 years old. We recorded refraction, type of albinism, glasses wear, and best-corrected visual acuity at visit C. Only right eyes were analyzed. Results: A total of 75 patients were included. Of these, 73 wore glasses. Mean best-corrected visual acuity at visit C was 20/72 (range, 20/25-20/200). Mean spherical equivalent was 2.81 ± 2.4 D at visit A, 2.53 ± 3.4 D at visit B, and 2.15 ± 4.0 D at visit C. These values did not differ significantly from visits A to C (P = 0.0578). Mean astigmatism for the three time points was 1.60 ± 1.00 D, 2.50 ± 1.14 D, and 2.87 ± 1.45 D; these values did differ significantly from A to C (P < 0.0001). Subgroup analysis for OCA1A (16 eyes), OCA1B (20 eyes), and OCA2 (30 eyes) showed an increase in astigmatism from A to C, with a significant difference in means (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001, and P = 0.0001, resp.). Worse best-corrected visual acuity and higher mean astigmatism at visit C were found for OCA1A (20/104 and +4.08 ± 1.34) compared to OCA1B (20/59 and +2.30 ± 1.36; P < 0.0001) and OCA2 (20/66 and +2.53 ±1.21; P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Children with albinism require periodic cycloplegic refraction, because astigmatism often increases within the first 10 years of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported, in part, by an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness Inc, New York, NY, to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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